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26th Nov 2021

Premature baby born at 22 weeks was initially saved by a plastic bag

Her first Christmas outside of hospital is now incoming.

A premature baby born in the US was saved by a plastic bag.

37-year-old Cayce Lee, from North Carolina, gave birth to her daughter Eris unexpectedly at just 22 weeks gestation on October 25 last year.

The mum admitted she had been “quite nervous” throughout her pregnancy because she had previously experienced a stillbirth on her daughter Annabel in 2019.

While pregnant on Eris, her cervix was stitched shut “to prevent an early breach” and she was put on progesterone injections from about 16 weeks.

“At 19 weeks, the doctors found that I was already dilated by two centimetres,” Cayce said.

“I managed to last another three weeks, which helped us to get Eris over the threshold where medical staff could intervene to save her life.”

When Cayce went into labour at 22 weeks, doctors put her under anaesthetic and performed an emergency c-section to deliver the baby girl.

Baby Eris was born weighing in at a tiny 1lb 1oz.

The preemie was immediately placed into a plastic bag in order to keep her vital organs warm and avoid hypothermia.

Yet she soon developed an array of health problems that saw her placed on life support, unable to breathe on her own.

During Eris’ reported 254-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, Cayce and her partner Dennis were told to prepare for the worst and to say their goodbyes on more than one occasion.

“Eris had pneumonia four times, and we’d be getting calls at 6:30am to come to see her as the hospital was so concerned about her condition,” Cayce said.

“There were so many times when we didn’t think she’d make it. But she pulled through every single time.

“Her lungs were the main problem, as she really struggled to breathe alone. She was pretty much on all the maxed-out settings on the ventilator.”

One year on, the little one is stronger than ever. Though she still uses ventilation as her lungs continue to develop, she just experienced her first Thanksgiving at home.

Her parents are now excited to watch her spend Christmas outside of hospital.

“We didn’t know if Eris would make it to Christmas last year because she was so small and fragile,” her mum continued.

“It’s a true miracle she’s here to spend the day with us this year.”